This week's flashback Friday, again from my previous blog, comes a story that brings with it proof in miracles...if you needed one. Originally published in March of 2010, I hope you take the time to read and appreciate the possibilities that exist for our little ones, without allowing the medically subjected impossibilities presented in medical textbooks, publications, and within the minds of professionals cloud your mind:
MRI comparisons = proof in MIRACLES
By Alicia Harper, Small Portion of a Life's Journey
After nearly two entire years, I finally have Brayden's MRI scans from the morning after his birth on CD and viewed them for the very first time this week. In my many months of reading and research, I've seen many MRI images of healthy brains and damaged brains from every angle. I'm not going to sugar-coat this... I was shocked!! I truly expected to see more cortex than I did, but at the same time I feel enlightened to the fact that there is no explanation for each new day... no explanations at all, only a fully renewed belief in miracles.
Brayden was born on June 30, 2008 with a previous diagnosis of possible holoprosencephaly. From these pictures at my first meeting after birth, you can see there is a definite issue:
Mommy meeting her 'lil man for the first time
The following MRI images are from his initial scans completed hours after birth to make an official diagnosis...
Here is a scan of a healthy brain on the left, compared to Brayden's MRI scan from July 1, 2008:
Healthy Brain MRI: top view
Brayden's MRI: Top View
That gray stuff on Brayden's MRI, that is cerebrospinal fluid... that is all that is there! For one reason or another, most of his brain was destroyed in utero and replaced with these CSF filled sacs. There is no network of gray matter, the typical brain image you envision when you think about a brain.
For a better view, here are comparison MRI's from the side view:
Brayden's MRI: Side View
A healthy brain MRI: side view
Clearly different ... As you can barely see, Brayden has a VERY thin layer of cortical mantle. The cerebellum is there, but a bit small... but his readings state that it does have normal configuration and above average signal intensity. His brainstem is completely normal in size and signal... and that is about all that he has as far as the major portions of the brain go.
Knowing that he has little to no brain, you would never associate these type of scan images with him once you meet him. Trust me, I'm his mommy but I'm not in denial... read about my 'lil man by clicking on his name: Brayden Alexander "The Great" :) Put aside the images you have now seen, and try to imagine him accomplishing the things he has in the past 20 months that you can read about there... I assure you, it is next to impossible to associate the two together.
There are varying extremes of hydranencephaly, however my 'lil man fortunately has an intact brain stem and fully functioning cerebellum... more than some can say. Here are a few other scans of hydran children:
The following scan is a good friend of our's who is also living an amazing life with hydranencephaly:
You can read more about this little miracle at his mommy's blog by clicking on his name: We love you Brandon :)
Regardless of the varying levels of severity, bottom line is: the brain is BEYOND miraculous in function. Despite traumatic injury, or in Brayden's case congenital damage which became irreversible, it can function in ways that are completely incomprehensible... I don't care what degree you have obtained, how much schooling you have completed, or what type of professional you are... you don't know it all!! However, the people in the lives of these little miracles... we know, don't we?
If you're still not sure... here is Brayden this week in his brand new glasses (with a lesser prescription since one of his eyes has gained strength and can see better than 6 months ago). This picture alone speaks a million words:I know I'm bias, but he's pretty stinking cute huh? And most importantly HAPPY!!!
“The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn't been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.”